We hope this finds you in continued good healthy and heart during these challenging times. We would like to give you this update with the latest information on your Healthy Options 2020 holiday.
As you are probably aware, Greece has managed the Covid crisis better than most countries in Europe and there are currently no cases on Lefkas Island. The Greeks are carefully controlling the situation, with certain restrictions and protocols in place to protect both locals and visitors, but life in Vassiliki is slowly returning to normal.
The Greek government has currently identified 20 countries with low case numbers from which they will be welcoming visitors as of 1st July. We will be opening our centre from the beginning of July, to welcome non UK clients as the UK is not included on this initial list. This policy is under constant review and there is a possibility UK visitors will be allowed in by 1st July, when international flights will be allowed into all Greek airports and all hotels allowed to be open, although this may be delayed until the 15th July. Greek Government guidelines for arrivals at Greek airports after 1st July currently state there may be random sample tests but no quarantine conditions imposed on tourists.
However, on 8th June the UK Government began a 14-day quarantine for incoming travellers to the UK, which would obviously affect UK people travelling abroad on holiday. This is due to be reviewed on 29th June and there are indications it will likely be lifted/relaxed by then. Simon Calder, the Independent’s Chief Travel correspondent, claims (9th June); 'A group of more than 500 travel businesses has received “private assurances from senior government sources” that the quarantine law, imposed on Monday, will be relaxed by the end of June.’
This relaxation largely focuses on discussions currently taking place regarding the creation of bi-lateral ‘air bridges’ between certain countries, including the UK and Greece. This would remove the quarantine requirement for people coming into the UK from Greece and vice versa. So even if the UK quarantine restrictions are not lifted for all travellers from abroad, they will likely not apply to holiday makers returning from Greece.
And although the FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office) is currently advising against all but ‘essential travel’ from the UK to all countries, this advice has had its ‘indefinite’ status removed recently and we anticipate that the FCO advice will concurrently be relaxed, along with the quarantine restrictions being lifted when applied to certain countries like Greece where infection rates are extremely low.
We are confident that Greek and UK restrictions will be sufficiently relaxed/lifted by mid-July and are therefore planning to start our UK flight inclusive holidays from 19th July.
In light of this we are still delaying requests for holiday balance payments that are overdue or imminently due until we get the green light to start flying. Meanwhile we are working hard to get the centre ready and collating information on the various travel and health protocols that will be in place, which we will pass on to our clients at the appropriate time.
We’d like to thank everyone who has booked holidays from 19th July onwards and confirmed they still intend to travel, especially those who have moved travel dates. We really appreciate your patience and understanding in this unprecedented period and will keep you updated as the situation develops.
Healthy Options Uk sales office
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